Background: The estate was created by Sergio Rossi (d.2011) in the early 1970s. Rossi worked with his cousin Giulio Consonno in managing the Altesino and Caparzo estates not far to the north, direction Siena, before founding La Gerla. Rossi’s son founded his own small estate in Montalcino, Aisna.
Staff: Manager: Dott Agr Alberto Passeri (347.3664066. Met him at dinner with Guelfo at Pepe’s in March 2005. Has a house in Rome?). Oenologist: Vittorio Fiore.
Estate vineyards: 11.5ha of vines and 2ha of olives. 100% Sangiovese, with new plantings containing the new certified R24, VCR5, VCR6, and VCR30 clones. The vineyards are in two different areas:
–Canalicchio (north-east of Montalcino): 6ha of vines plus an olive grove and the cellars. 100% Sangiovese. La Gerla (1976), Gli Angeli (1985), Mercatale (1982/2001). North-east and east-facing. Halfway up the hill with a good slope. Medium texture soil, from medium to deep with an abundant stones (galestro), medium limestone, and with a good percentage of silt. The cool and dry microclimate in summer allows slow maturation which allows the development of elegant, intense and noble aromas in the wine.
– Vigna Gli Angeli – see the wine of this name, below.
–Castelnuovo dell’Abate (south-east of Montalcino): 5.5ha. In what is said to be an amphitheatre just below Castelnuovo. The plots are Oliveto (1997), Piano (1992), and La Pieve (1998) which is described in more detail below. The soil is mainly sandy-silty, with a preponderance of skeleton, the calcareous component is also important as well as the insolation which is emphasized by the particular position sheltered from the cold north winds and brackish winds from the west-south west off the Tyrrhenian Sea. Considerable day-night temperature shifts. The wines from the Castelnuovo vineyards are powerful, structured, fine and intense.
Vineyards–Vigna La Pieve: This was the second vineyard Sergio Rossi planted in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in 1998. It is literally found climbing on the slopes that rise from the old marble quarry up to the town of Castelnuovo in a sheltered position, set between two hills; the very few clusters produced by these heroic plants are extremely sugary and very rich in polyphenols and extracts. The resulting wine is warm and velvety, of great character and roundness but above all of extraordinary concentration.
Toscana Rosso IGT, Birba: 1999 Mainly Sangiovese.
Poggio gli Angeli Sangiovese
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, La Gerla: 2011 At the consorzio with Ian d’Agata Tuesday 28th May 2013: Bright, medium intense crimson, limpid. Freshness to the fruit and boldness to the tannin, well made wine in terms of polish and extraction, I think the grapes were good enough to have had a bit less winemaking to leave a more tapered and longer lasting red (longer lasting in the mouth and in the bottle), rather than one which is bulbous and more immediate. Nevertheless a bright wine with texture and balance and sensibly modernist. | 2012 20,000 bottles. Fermented in stainless steel, then 6 months in wood. Bit simple and open but ripe and fluid cherry, mid-weight, drinkability (Anteprima 2014). | 2013 25,000 bottles. 6 months in botti. Sweet bright raspberry, savoury, clear, nice weight (Anteprima 2014). | 2014 Steel then 2 months in oak. Clear ripe fruit (Anteprima 2016). | 2018 20,000 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, La Gerla: 2006 Bottled. | 2007 Bottled. |2009 35,000 bottles. 36 months in 55hl botti. Bottled in July 2013. Open nose, fruit and evolution, sweet nose, some vanilla in there, sweet entry and middle, nice feminine style, decent length (Anteprima 2014). | 2009 L3 012. 14.5%. Pale ruby garnet. High tone nose with red fruit, raspberry with oak/alcohol. And a bit of funk. Hot middle with sweet fruit at the end. Not bad for a crowdpleaser but too ephemeral for those in search of high seriousness at the Consorzio Tues 27th May 2014 with Ian d’Agata and others. | 2010 35,000 bottles. Very well constructed: ripe, savoury, some evolution but should age well (Anteprima 2014). | 2011 Aged in 50-100hl Slavonian oak vats. Nice simple sweet fruit, bit light and hot and simple cherry (Anteprima 2016). | 2012 Fluid, slightly dry tannins, opens into something bolder and more chewy, well (Anteprima 2017. | 2014 Smoky oak, decent level of fruit beneath, savoury and with enough brightness to hold for perhaps a decade but still fairly approachable now (Anteprima 2019). | 2015 40,000 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva, La Gerla, Vigna gli Angeli: On 4th Oct 2014 Alberto Passeri told me this wine comes from the Vigna Gli Angeli vineyard near the Degli Angeli church in the Canalicchio zone. 1.5ha Sangiovese vineyard. Neighbours are Paradiso di Manfredi, below Canalicchio di Sotto Ripaccioli. The soil is medio impasto, alkaline, calcareous, with galestro and marne. Planted 1982. 2.70ha registered. 420A rootstock. 3m x 1m. Only 1ha of the 1.5ha is used for the Gli Angeli bottling. This comes from the highest and steepest part of the vineyard. The low yield per vie allows a longer maceration compared to the normale. Ferments in steel. MLF in 225-litre barrels before winter. The following spring goes to 50hl botti. | 1997 Bottled. | 2000 Not that clear, a bit boiled (Anteprima 18 Feb 2005). | 2001 Exists. | 2003 Exists. | 2004 MLF in barrel. | 2006 All picked in one go. | 2007 All picked in one go. | 2008 5,600 bottles. Classic traditional style, fruit perfume and wood, good open classic style with pretty good tannin (Anteprima 2014). | 2010 Not too heavy but seems a bit clumsy, lots of extract. Sample may have been a bit too warm (Anteprima 2016. | 2013 5,300 bottles. | 2014 Picked in two stages.
Other crops: Grappa di Brunello. | Olio Extravergine di Oliva from 2ha of Frantoio, Moraiolo, Olivastra, Leccino. 2,000 bottles.